Thursday, September 30, 2010

Homeschool: Organized

I hear a lot of, "You are so organized!" and, "If I could just get organized, our school day would go so much smoother!" and, "How do you organize your day?"

So I thought I would take a bit of time to share what works for us. I enjoy reading and seeing what other people are doing and what works for them and then adapting it to us. Since we have found our groove this year - after a lot of trial and error - I thought I would put my two cents out there for others as well. Maybe you can build on some of our ideas for yourself... or just call me the crazy-too-organized-lady (as some people do)!

First of all is our bookshelf:The top of the bookshelf has a Pampered Chef Turn-About that holds extra pens, pencils, scissors, rulers, etc. There is also an electric pencil sharpener on top of the bookshelf, a three-hole-punch, and the drawers holding paper (blank, graph, lined, colored). The top shelf holds my daughter's workbooks, folders, binder, etc. on the left; my son's are on the right. My extras (that I want available but do not need on a daily basis) are in the middle between their two colored binders. The bottom shelf has the oversized books, construction paper, a marker box, and another box with the extra school supplies that we don't need right now (staples, glue, tape, compass, etc.).
*Oh, and let me say that the workbooks really do stay neat like that - it is not just for the picture. They were constantly falling over causing the books to get bent, hidden behind each other, and driving me crazy! For some reason bookends were too complicated/too much work for my children so we splurged and bought these magazine holders. They were worth every penny!
My "favorite" organization tool is my six-drawer rolling cart. I keep just about everything I need for school in it. I roll it against the wall when we aren't doing school and roll it right up to the table during school time. The top drawer holds the papers I need for record keeping as well as the books we use for Bible. The next drawers, labeled Language, Math, Geography, Science, and Art, hold the teacher's guides for each subject as well as the textbooks we are using.
The top of it holds a few pens and pencils, an eraser, a calculator, a timer (for Spelling Power), our date stamp (I have my children date stamp all of their work), our math flashcards (we drill one operation each day), and an index card box that holds blank cards for vocabulary and our letter tiles for spelling.
The children's favorite "tool" this year is the list of tasks hanging on the pantry door. They love seeing things marked off the list and quickly seeing what they still need to do. I just used Contact paper to cover the list of subjects colorfully written on a couple sheets of paper taped together. (I am so proud of myself for letting go of my perfectionism and not having this list typed!) When a subject is complete, checked, and errors corrected, they mark it with a square. (I quickly made these squares out of nine Perler Beads each -see my earlier post about Perler Beads) The squares are stuck with sticky tack for easy moving. On days we don't have a certain subject, the children mark it before we start school.

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